It’s almost impossible to convince a fan of either of these cars that the other is better. Fans of the BMW M3 will remain steadfast in the belief that it’s the best car in the segment. Members of the Alfisti will claim that the Giulia Quadrifoglio is the better car. To be honest, having driven both, it’s really hard to choose between the two. Each car is extremely good and each car has its own pros and cons. So which is actually best? Autocar attempts to find out in this video.
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In this comparison, the BMW M3 Competition Package takes on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio on some twisty public roads. This is where 90 percent of enthusiasts who own these cars will drive them. No race tracks, no drag races. Just real-deal driving. On these roads, each car makes a compelling point for itself.
On the one hand, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifolgio is an incredible driver’s car. Having spent some time with it myself, I completely agree when Autocar claims it to be as good as it is. The steering is lovely, the chassis is superb and the suspension is the best compromise between comfort and performance in the segment. Both its steering and chassis are better than the M3’s, without question. Also, it’s engine is a thing of joy. The 2.9 liter, 90-degree, twin-turbo V6 makes 505 hp and a fantastic noise.
On the other hand, though, the Alfa has some issues. Its interior feels downright low-rent in this segment, its technology is inferior to the Germans’ by quite a bit and it struggles from reliability issues, even on brand-new cars. A lot of the interior ergonomics can be infuriating and the infotainment system can often fight you. So as good as it is to drive, it’s hard to recommend owning it to someone.
As for the BMW M3 Competition Package, it’s such a fantastically well-rounded machine that it’s hard to not want to own. Its steering, while not as beautiful as the Alfa’s, is sharp and dynamic (so long as it’s left in Comfort mode, a point I will continue to defend), its chassis is superb and its engine provides ample thrust, at any time. It’s a proper driver’s car and one that is absolutely up at the top of the heap with the Alfa. Though, it must be said, the Competition Package is a must-have.
In terms of downsides for the M3, it lacks a bit of the feedback and connectivity of the Alfa. It also lacks a lot of the Italian car’s drama and flare. So it’s nowhere near as enjoyable to be around, look at and own. It’s a bit clinical and a bit too precise. There’s not as much passion in the BMW. Though, its technology works brilliantly, it’s reliable and the build quality is far superior. So maybe there’s charm in being really dependable and solid.
At the end of the video, both Autocar hosts claim they’d own the Alfa. As a bit of “You Only Live Once”, they claim it’s worth living with the Alfa’s annoyances for its charm and wonderful driving dynamics. It’s hard to argue that. If it were my actual money, I’d probably still go with the German. But I can’t fault anyone at all for going Italian.